Be afraid. Be very afraid. I have taken over ZDNet Australia‘s podcast Patch Monday.
In this week’s episode, Cyberwar. What is Australia’s place in the world of digital warfare? What are the implications for the NBN? Tom Worthington, a computer scientist who’s been watching how Australia’s defence forces use IT, helps separate the myth from reality.
We also look at the Australia Council’s innovative “Geek in Residence” program, helping bring arts organisations into the 21st Century. Applications close 9 December.
You can listen to my first episode, which is Patch Monday episode 20, below. But it’s even better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.
Please, let me know what you think. Feedback very, very welcome. And do let me know if there’s any topics I should cover, or guests we should interview.
And yes, I know it’s Friday, not Monday. Shoosh. Normal service will be resumed shortly.
Stilgherrian’s links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009:
See what happens when you don’t curate your links for ten days, during which time there’s a conference which generates a bazillion things to link to? Sigh.
This is such a huge batch of links that I’ll start them over the fold. They’re not all about Media140 Sydney, trust me.
Continue reading “Links for 08 November 2009 through 18 November 2009”
Politicians are notoriously clueless when it comes to technology. Indeed, a Parliament House staffer once told me that it’s impossible to overstate their level of ignorance. But isn’t it time they caught up with the rest of us?
Last year I wrote about this in the business context, “I don’t understand computers” is not an excuse.
If you own or manage a business that handles information (and which business doesn’t?) then you must understand computers and the Internet. If you don’t, you’re incompetent. Yes, that’s right, you heard me. Incompetent…
In short, you don’t need to know the technology itself, but you do need to know its implications for your business.
Australia’s had a Goods and Services Tax since 2000. If you waved your hand and said, “Oh, I don’t understand GST,” your shareholders would have every right to sack you for incompetence.
Yesterday I wrote about this in the political context for ZDNet.com.au, Are clueless politicians holding IT back?, and as in my business-focussed piece I suggested a checklist for what I reckon they should know.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Or am I right in using the word “incompetent” here?
Stilgherrian’s links for 22 October 2009 through 27 October 2009, published after far too long a break. I really, really do need to work out a better way of doing this…
- Nature Child | San Juan Islander: “According to family studies professor, Sandra Hofferth of the University of Maryland, there was a 50% decline between 1997 to 2003 in the proportion of children 9 to 12 who spent time in outdoor activities (hiking, walking, fishing, beach play and gardening).”
- FreeRangeKids: “At Free Range, we believe in safe kids. We believe in helmets, car seats and safety belts. We do NOT believe that every time school age children go outside, they need a security detail.”
- How far did you roam as a child? | Watershed: Educator John Larkin continues the thoughts about wrapping our kids in cotton wool.
- How children lost the right to roam in four generations | Mail Online: In 1919, an 8yo was allowed to walk six miles to go fishing. Today, an 8yo isn’t allowed past the end of the street without parental escort. This article from 2007 triggered many thoughts, and I’ve glad I found it again.
- Forget the young pretenders, Humans 1.0 can lead the way | The Observer: John Naughton riffs off the idea that teenagers don’t know everything and some parts of cyberspace (ugh!) are teenager-free. Although the article then says that “only” 11% of Twitter’s users are under 17 years old. And what proportion of the literate population is under 17yo? 11%? More? Less?
- Podcasting Equipment Guide (2009) | Hivelogic: A nice guide to the tools needed to podcast on a budget. Yes, there’s a reason I’m looking at this. Stay tuned, as they say.
- Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network | Parliament of Australia: Full transcripts of the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network public hearings, which I’m tagging for my own reference later.
- What Information is “Personally Identifiable”? | Electronic Frontier Foundation: Gender, ZIP code and birth date are enough to uniquely identify about 87% of the US population. This has massive implications for publishing data sets, and for privacy policies that claim not to collect “personally identifiable” information.
- Nine News twittered by seagull | TV Tonight: It’s nothing to do with Twitter, but there is a seagull. A very big seagull.
- Apology for singing shop worker | BBC News: Shop assistant Sandra Burt, 56, from Clackmannanshire, was threatened with a fine for singing without a license by the Performing Right Society. However they’ve now apologised and sent flowers.
- Online Ads Not Working for You? Blame the Creative | Advertising Age: A study by Dynamic Logic says that obsession about optimisation and placement is less important.
- We can’t turn back the tide of internet piracy, says TV boss | Herald Scotland: “Internet piracy is merely demand where appropriate supply does not exist,” says the commissioning editor for education at the UK’s Channel 4.
- Court tweets sustained but paper still lurks | ZDNet Australia: Liam Tung, who tweeted from the AFACT v iiNet trial in the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney, reflects on the gaps in courtroom IT.
- Beats and Tweets: Journalistic Guidelines for the Facebook Era | NPR: Yet another exploration of ethics an journalism. One point in here I really do not like, though: “You must not advocate for political or other polarizing issues online. This extends to joining online groups or using social media in any form (including your Facebook page or a personal blog) to express personal views on a political or other controversial issue that you could not write for the air or post on NPR.org.” Sorry? Work for NPR and you lose your right to participate in democracy?
- Poles, Politeness and Politics in the age of Twitter | The New Adventures of Stephen Fry: Another fine if perhaps rambling essay from Mr Fry about the meaning of “influence” and accidentally gaining same. Worth a leisurely read.
- Why journalism's all a-Twitter | The Walkley Foundation: The editorial chief of Sydney’s forthcoming Media140 conference goes beyond the obvious “Is Twitter journalism?” and mechanical how-to issues and explores the ethical issues of journalists using Twitter.
- Twitter in the court: Federal judge gets it | CNET News: Another article about using Twitter in courtrooms, from the US an from March 2009.
- Call For Opinions | Blackbeard Blog: Tom Ewing’s collection of opinions on market research and social media, “quite unsupported by anything other than grumpiness and prejudice”. The first is that “insights” aren’t Zen koans. “If you can express something that briefly, it’s probably banal.”
- The internet doesn’t exist | Business Spectator: Ah, Alan Kohler! I do so love your commentaries! Here’s more of his sensible thoughts on the matter of paying for “content” on the Internet.
- How Safe is the HPV vaccine? | Information Is Beautiful: A brilliantly simple infographic showing the incredibly low risk of associated with the Human Papillomavirus compared with various everyday activities.
- Ultimate Goat Fansite: Do I need to explain? I thought not.
A report from the Australian Computer Society’s Filtering and E-Security Task Force, the drab-named but quite readable Technical Observations on ISP Based Filtering of the Internet, is going to be a handy weapon in Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy’s battle over internet censorship.
Well, so I reckon.
In a backgrounder for ZDNet today, ACS filter report just what Conroy needs, I run through a quick history of Labor’s mandatory Internet filtering policy, and show how Conroy can use the report to kill the project or kill the criticism — depending on what he needs at the time politically.
I don’t know whether it’s the first time an Australian legal trial has been covered live via Twitter, but the Twitter coverage of the AFACT v iiNet hearing in the Federal Court is breathing new life into court reporting. So, why don’t we just stream everything live to the Internet, audio and video?
That’s the question I ask in my first opinion piece for ZDNet Australia, Twitter in court: Why not streaming video?, which was posted on Friday afternoon after I’d spent half the week watching ZDNet.com.au‘s Liam Tung and The Australian‘s Andrew Colley bring us their observations as the case unfolded.
As it happens, the ban on live broadcast coverage from courtrooms dates back to the 1930s. Although there have been experiments with TV coverage, it’s still rare. But apart from the obvious cases where you’d want to keep it banned, why shouldn’t we allow it? That’s what I explore over at ZDNet.com.au. Have a read and let me know what you think.
If you want to follow the hearing, which is expected to last until mid-November, monitor the Twitter hashtag #iitrial.